Packer Interview Alvaro

Alvaro Luque, president and CEO of Avocados from Mexico, is The Packer’s 2020 Produce Marketer of the Year.

Editor Tom Karst presented the award to Luque Oct. 13 during the virtual Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit.

The Packer’s Produce Marketer of the Year and Marketer for All Seasons awards have been presented during PMA’s annual show since 1972 

Luque came to Avocados from Mexico in January 2014. He previously was U.S. vice president of marketing for Gruma USA, which owns Mission Foods and Azteca Milling.

Karst credited Luque’s strategic vision and forward-thinking approach to marketing avocados.

“Our winner has built up the Avocados from Mexico brand in a way that no one could have predicted six years ago,” Karst said.

Avocados from Mexico has the backing of growers and importers of Mexican avocados. With that strong support, Karst said Luque has helped build a brand in a brandless category.

With multiple Super Bowl ads and other marketing innovations, he has raised the visibility of Avocados from Mexico to unprecedented heights. 

The January 2020 debut of AvoEatery, described as the first polished casual avocado-centric restaurant in the world, is another example of innovation from Avocados from Mexico. 

With a market share of about 80%, Avocados from Mexico has helped increase consumption of avocados to a record 2.5 billion pounds per year in the U.S., and increased per capita consumption to nearly 8 pounds in 2020.

Gary Caloroso, regional business development director for The Giumarra Cos. and chairman of the board for Avocados from Mexico, said Luque is relentless in his pursuit of excellence.

“He wants to push the envelope and do things that have never been done before, and he has,” Caloroso said, adding that Luque has orchestrated an industry-leading comprehensive integrated marketing program.

“It has just broken the paradigm of what success looks like in produce marketing,” Caloroso said.

Stephanie Bazan, vice president of trade and market development for Avocados from Mexico, said Luque is skilled putting forward a strategic vision and organizing what needs to be done to reach those objectives.

Last year, The Packer honored Don Christopher, founder of Gilroy, Calif.-based Christopher Ranch. Christopher was honored for his commitment to the garlic industry and the way he has given back to his community.

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